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Ripon Habitat Bank, North Yorkshire

Local planning authority (LPA): North Yorkshire Council

National Character Area (NCA): Pennine Dales Fringe

Biodiversity Units available:

Very high distinctiveness habitats
  • Lowland meadows
Medium distinctiveness habitats
  • Other neutral grassland
High distinctiveness habitats
  • Ponds (priority habitat)
  • Other rivers and streams

At the eastern edge of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) lies our 17.5-hectare Habitat Bank on the rural outskirts of Ripon, around 20km north of Harrogate. The site is surrounding by hedgerows and woodland parcels, and we are building new habitats to develop ecological connectivity with the surrounding landscape.

Following a thorough assessment of the site's vegetation, wildlife, geology, hydrology, soil chemistry, management history, and landscape connectivity, we determined the best possible habitats to establish and made sure these enhancements would be deliverable. We established an ecological baseline for the site using Defra’s biodiversity metric, so we can clearly demonstrate biodiversity gains over time.

This assessment enables us to generate a range of high-integrity Biodiversity Unit habitat types that will ensure robust ecological outcomes. We also offer planning support to make sure our Biodiversity Units provide an effective local BNG delivery solution for developers within the North Yorkshire Council LPA area or Pennine Dales Fringe NCA. Our Units are ready to purchase now, subject to availability.

Adjacent LPAs for cross-boundary coverage:

  • Leeds City Council
  • City of York Council
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park
  • City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Adjacent NCAs for cross-boundary coverage:

  • Tees Lowlands
  • Yorkshire Dales
  • North Pennines
  • Vale of Mowbray
  • Southern Pennines
  • Southern Magnesian Limestone
  • Durham Coalfield Pennine Fringe
  • Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire Coalfield

Our Ripon Habitat Bank sits within a 3km radius between a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This makes the site a particularly strategic location for biodiversity restoration – allowing us to build connectivity between our high distinctiveness habitats and these designated sites. 

We’re transforming the landscape into a broad wildflower meadow rich in native flora and fauna, encouraging natural variations in structure between the wetter and drier areas of the site. We will be creating pockets of scrub which will help link up existing woodlands, both within the site and wider landscape. 

We’re excavating ponds across the site, targeting natural springs, depressions, and wetter areas, creating a beautiful mosaic of habitats that provide a haven for species of wildlife. Particularly, we are creating scrapes for curlew and lapwing which have gone through a significant national decline in recent decades. 

Our enhancements will revitalise the soil, improving health and structure to create a more resilient landscape. The site will provide a home for a range of wildlife, including protected species such as barn owl, otters, and great crested newts.

Find out the cost and availability of Biodiversity Units from our Ripon Habitat Bank